Early Childhood Literacy

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Would a 10-17% annual return on an investment interest you?

According to Nobel Prize economics winner James Heckman and other leading economists, every dollar invested in early childhood education and literacy can yield as much as 17% in return.   These powerful returns come from children who achieve academic success and grow up to become productive citizens. An educated and literate community enjoys the benefits of reduced crime, decreased need for costly academic remediation, lower welfare rolls and fewer publicly funded safety nets, an increased tax base, and a more highly skilled workforce that attracts new industry. It is simply the very best investment in a community’s quality of life and economic development that one can make.

  • Up to 90% of the brain’s “architecture” is formed in the first three years of life
  • Children not prepared for kindergarten often cannot read and comprehend in third grade when “learning to read” is replaced by “reading to learn”
  • These are the children who are most likely to become high school dropouts

Northwest Mississippi’s community foundation launched a bold campaign three years ago to create an endowment for the community’s future and its early childhood education efforts. Endowed funds now exceed $2 million, built with six figure gifts and with donations as small as $10. With the interest alone, they have provided training for over 600 child care center workers, distributed over 1,000 book bags, advocated on a statewide level for increased pre-K funding, and established a resource and referral center.

If Northwest Mississippi can do it, can’t we?

The Communities of Coastal Georgia Foundation invites you to join our campaign and make an investment in our Baby Steps Early Childhood Literacy Initiative. For the past 18 months a community-wide advisory council has met and has developed plans for specific projects that will ensure that our children from birth to age five get the start they deserve to succeed in school.

We are not asking for just another charitable donation, but rather an investment in this community’s future – perhaps a future that will have fewer soup kitchens, food pantries, homeless shelters and drop-out prevention programs you may currently support with your charitable dollar.

The following communities are examples of many across the nation that have created permanent endowments for early childhood education efforts:

  • Aspen, CO  $1.2 million
  • Boulder, CO  $4 million
  • N.W. Mississippi $2 million  
  • Marin County, CA $35 million
  • Evanston, IL  $2 million
  • Miami/Dade County  $100 million

Here in the Golden Isles, we’ve seen many successful campaigns of this size over the past few years to support historical tracts and buildings, health, and animal welfare…all important, but are they more important to this community’s future than our community’s children?

A similar $2 million permanent endowment for early literacy programs in our community would sustain all the council’s proposed plans and programs on the interest alone – leaving the capital intact for future generations to continue supporting early education efforts, year after year, without resorting to annual campaigns. Now that’s an investment with impact!

Funds from the Endowment will be devoted exclusively and permanently to promoting early childhood literacy. Specific grants from the fund will depend on needs and opportunities that will change over time.

If you wish to make a difference, not just for a year but for the future of this community and its children, join us.

Please consider an investment to build a permanent endowment by donating either cash or non-cash assets to the Communities of Coastal Georgia Foundation for Baby Steps.